Bulldogs vs Storm: Predicting its place in grand final history
Now that the two 2012 NRL grand final teams are sorted, rugby league fans turn their attention to trying to predict how the Bulldogs versus Storm game will rate in the history of rugby league grand finals.
Essentially all deciders are destined to rank somewhere between 1989′s ‘Greatest game of all’ and 1909′s ‘Balmain boycott bummer’.
Amongst these footballing extremes are some beauties, some borderliners and a sprinkling of games so boring you find yourself reduced to playing ridiculous drinking games or ARL 96 on your Sega Mega Drive to kill the afternoon.
The script for the rugby league grand final fairy tale is simple.
The two best teams from the regular season meet in the decider, play a ding dong battle interrupted only by a stirring, yet relevant, half time show before the match is decided in the final seconds by a display of skill that old blokes with tears in their eyes will bore their grandchildren with for the next century and a half.
Painted in-goals help too.
Provided you didn’t start following Quidditch after 1997, you’d be aware that in reality this isn’t always the case.
In fact, having a squizz over the history books it’s clear that the odds of a truly great grand final are actually fairly low. Matt Rua sock level low.
For an epic grand final you need all of the planets to align, which is incredibly unfair for the sport lover.
Imagine if one in every three blockbuster movies you saw the main character pulled a hammy in the first ten minutes.
Or the film would go through stretches with the characters just sitting around fluffing their lines. Or the bad guy just put his hands in the air with 20min to go, said ‘I’m knackered” and just let the hero just pummel him into submission.
It would drive you to despair, and as a neutral onlooker a lopsided or dour grand final can leave you feeling like the kid who opens the big present under the Christmas tree, only to find a knitted Gold Coast Chargers cardigan from your Aunty Flo in an old vacuum cleaner box.
So, what are the odds of Canterbury and Melbourne’s match-up reaching into the upper echelons of awesome?
Looking at past deciders I’m going to tentatively say…pretty good. Law of averages suggest we are due for a beauty after we were denied the rule of 9 (think 89, 99…) a few years back. Both teams have fantastic coaches, deep talent pools and are consistently consistent, so surely the minimum we should be looking at it is 2003 level entertainment.
However, there is one concern.
Looking through the seasons of both clubs one gets a slight smell, just the faintest whiff, that a 1994 shemozzle may be about to unfold.
Now I don’t mean to alarm anybody, as this is just a very minor inkling at the moment, so please do not make plans to clean your gutters or head to Bunnings on Sunday afternoon.
But if Sam Kasiano knocks on from the kick-off, well, maybe just have your Mega Drive on standby, eh?
Follow Chris on Twitter: @Vic_Arious
Chris Chard is a sports humour writer commenting on the often absurd nature of professional sport. A rugby league fan boy with a good blend of youth and experience taking things one week at a time, Chris has written for The Roar, Rugby League Player Magazine, US Sports Downunder, the QRL and People. Tweet him @Vic_Arious
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